New Palmetto State polling shows Republicans rallying to the former President.
A survey from Winthrop University shows Donald Trump is the choice of 41% of poll respondents, doubling up both Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (20%) and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (18%).
The accompanying polling memo represents DeSantis and Haley as being in a “statistical dead heat,” suggesting South Carolina could be a “firewall” for its former chief executive in its early Primary next year.
DeSantis may have an opportunity to strengthen his South Carolina poll position later this month. He is heading to Spartanburg on April 19, the Associated Press reports, for an event with state Sen. Josh Kimbrell, who hopes the Governor will be in the state “early and often.”
The new Winthrop survey is the strongest poll of Palmetto State Republicans for Trump and Haley so far.
A February survey from Neighborhood Research and Media shows Trump with 35%, with DeSantis and Haley farther back with 22% and 16%, respectively.
A January Moore Information Group/Conservative Policy Research Network poll of 450 likely GOP Primary voters shows Trump with 41%, DeSantis with 31%, and Haley with 12% support.
A previous poll from the South Carolina Policy Council, conducted by Spry Strategies, shows DeSantis with 52%. But that increasingly looks like an outlier, given Haley’s determined campaign and the former President’s recent polling surge.
Haley’s campaign seems to see DeSantis as vulnerable.
A memo from her campaign contends that the Florida Governor has proven he’s “not ready for prime time,” with her campaign manager saying DeSantis “launched his presidential campaign with a national book tour during this period and made one misstep after another.”
The memo cites as specific example DeSantis’ framing of “Russia’s brutal, unprovoked, and illegal invasion of Ukraine (as) a mere ‘territorial dispute.’”
Haley herself has said that the “weak in the knees” Florida Governor is floundering in the face of the existential threat posed by Vladimir Putin.